Roadmap to launch: How to plan, start and execute a connected car data project

May 14, 2024
By now, all major car brands provide cloud-based access to live vehicle data, including odometer readings, vehicle location information, health status, and consumption data. Unlike hardware-based solutions, OEM live vehicle data simplifies onboarding, offers technical and commercial flexibility, and opens up possibilities for new use cases and innovative fleet management approaches. Optimal outcomes are realised through data integrations customised to fit existing workflows and specific applications and services.

6-Step-Plan for Integrating a Connected Car Data Service

Having already executed dozens of integration projects, we have developed a comprehensive 6-step plan that outlines essential tasks for planning and implementing a live data integrated service. Despite the perception of six steps requiring significant effort, our projects typically span only 4-6 weeks, with early results becoming visible and testable in the initial stages of the process.

In order to plan and launch a connected car data project, we are recommending going through each of the following steps. Every underlying aspect will be explained in more detail both in the video of our 15th Open Dev Talk and this blog post.

  • Learning about High Mobility’s API approach
  • Use case definition and compatibility check
  • Developer training and tech kick-off
  • Testing with simulated data
  • App submission and testing with real vehicles
  • Launching the product or service

High Mobility’s Connected Car Approach

Live vehicle data has been available for decades, initially accessed through retrofitted hardware devices utilising components like the OBD port and dongles with integrated mobile connectivity. However, in the past decade, OEMs have added internet connectivity directly into cars, making additional hardware purchases and installations unnecessary for most use cases.

With technological advancements come new challenges. Each OEM and sometimes each brand structures and formats data individually, leading to difficulties in obtaining brand-independent access to live vehicle data. Furthermore, OEMs have varying demands regarding data protection and information security and offer a diverse range of contracts to consider.

Drawing from over a decade of experience in the field, High Mobility provides customers with a standardised technical cross-OEM access point for connected car data, accompanied by a harmonised GDPR-compliant contractual framework. Our focus is solely on providing facilitated access to live vehicle data, along with testing and simulation tools, without competing with fleet, insurance, or other software solutions or white-label products.

For customers without any API implementation capabilities or software engineering resources, we offer a curated list of partner services providing both off-the-shelf and customisable software solutions. These solutions have undergone the 6-step process and successfully launched their products. Interested parties opting for a partner solution will undergo individual onboarding, bypassing the next five steps, which focus on the integration of standardised vehicle data APIs.

Evaluating the market potential and feasibility for selected live data use cases

Fast and optimal results can be achieved when integration projects focus on specific use cases that align with market conditions in terms of vehicle eligibility and commercial suitability. While there are over 300 data points available in the data catalogue, typically only a select few are necessary to fulfil the corresponding goals.

To prioritise use cases effectively, we recommend creating a table listing each use case with its title, purpose, and description. For each use case, we assist companies in identifying the minimum viable data points required from our data catalogue, which lists descriptions, brand availability, technical access methods and update frequency. Restricting data points to a minimum level is not only advisable due to varying OEM capabilities but also to be compliant with the data minimisation principle outlined in GDPR. Use cases with simpler data requirements and broader brand coverage should be prioritised over those that require more intense logic to fill eventual gaps.

Once technical feasibility is confirmed, the next step is to assess the commercial viability of the use case integration. This assessment is highly individualised and considers factors such as market specifics and existing customer base. We offer assistance in estimating compatible car volumes and calculating associated data costs. High Mobility provides overviews of models generally compatible with the service, including those offering connectivity features as optional equipment. For a reliable analysis, we offer free eligibility checks based on vehicle identification numbers (VINs). 

Data costs vary based on brand and data scope and can be reduced through discounts applied to certain compatible car volumes. By effectively communicating feasible use cases, car volumes, costs, and market opportunities, product teams can foster confidence and trust within their organisation for upcoming integration and pilot phases.

Training and tech kick-off for software development teams

Once the final scope is defined, High Mobility will offer complimentary technical training sessions for development teams, which can be conveniently scheduled through an online calendar.

The initial step involves onboarding the development team onto the self-service platform. All project team members can register for free at It's highly advisable to invite everyone to join a Team to collaboratively work on defining the data scope, API credentials, and test scenarios. To set up the team, access the account menu in the upper right corner, select "Teams," and create a new Group using the plus button. Then, invite all other group members to the platform. If other team members require access to credentials, ensure to assign them the "Admin" role.

Once everyone is onboarded, we demonstrate how to select data points in both sandbox mode and for production. Using data containers, development and product teams can precisely determine the data scope for specific use cases targeting either privately-owned vehicle drivers or fleet vehicles. It's important to note that once data points are selected, adjustments in production mode are not easily made, although limiting the scope per brand remains possible.High Mobility offers more than 8 integration methods with our connected car API. Pull-based approaches like the REST API are suitable for use cases requiring regular snapshots of vehicle states, while streaming options (e.g., MQTT) are recommended when no data point updates should be missed. Comprehensive documentation is publicly available through our docs pages or by reviewing previously hosted Open Dev Talks here.

Testing and qualifying live vehicle data applications

Testing live vehicle data applications can be challenging, especially due to the varied conditions that a moving test object can encounter depending on the context.

To address this, High Mobility offers the Simulation Studio, an advanced testing environment ideal for qualifying the vehicle activation process, requesting the vehicle status and specific data values. It also offers a trip simulation feature which generates data virtually without having the costs associated with gasoline or energy consumption. Prototypes and API integrations can connect to virtual VINs, each associated with a UI-based car representation. Data point values can be updated and pushed or requested directly within the browser.

It's important to recognise that not every OEM offers the same data set or frequency. High Mobility's car simulator can mirror the data point selection of the respective OEM, and different data frequencies can be adjusted directly in the UI.

Utilising the Simulation Studio is beneficial for demo purposes during the project, providing stakeholders with an early understanding of the data integration process and enabling early feedback in the prototyping phase.

Getting verified for production to start testing with real vehicles

Once testing with virtual cars has been successfully completed, product teams can transition to the productive environment to begin testing with real vehicles. Accessing the production mode is as simple as clicking “Live data” within the High Mobility platform.

Subsequently, the creation of a data container and assignment of data points (permissions) follows the same process outlined for the sandbox environment. However, unlike the sandbox environment, each data container requires verification before API access is activated based on the data point selection. 

Product teams can utilise the “App Information” tab of the data container to provide details such as product description, terms and conditions, and the privacy policy. Once the corresponding form is submitted, the High Mobility team reviews the information to ensure legitimate use cases. 

Access to real fleet vehicle data necessitates a signed Fleet Data Terms contract, outlining the Terms and Conditions, GDPR compliance, as well as pricing and SLAs. Billing data can be entered within the Settings menu to complete preparation for consuming live vehicle data.

Access to individual brands can be granted on a case-by-case basis, eliminating the need to collect data from all brands. While some brands may be activated immediately after verification, others may require configuration enhancements in the OEM backend systems, leading to additional waiting time until the respective brand is listed as active on the platform.

In live mode, the High Mobility API can be utilised in the same manner as in the sandbox mode, respecting the corresponding productive endpoints and credentials. For active and supported brands, customers can also leverage the free vehicle eligibility API to assess compatibility and evaluate data provision without additional hardware involvement.

Launching live car data integrated services

Product teams have the flexibility to decide on the launch date and strategy according to their needs. While data is provided in a brand-agnostic format and structure, many of our existing customers prefer to roll out their service brand by brand or customer by customer. New OEMs and additional data sets for brands that have already been onboarded are regularly added to continually enhance the offering and facilitate new use cases and innovative ideas.

High Mobility recommends subscribing to the API status page to receive notifications about all scheduled maintenance and unplanned incidents. OEM-specific information is supplemented by our proactive monitoring system.

Customer support is available via email, phone, online form, and directly through our support platform.

Read Next